Duration: 60 min (No additional time for transferring answers!)

40 questions

Each question is worth 1 mark.

Checks different types of reading:

  • reading for gist,
  • reading for main ideas,
  • reading for detail, 
  • understanding logical argument and recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

Styles of texts

Part 1 – Narrative / descriptive passage 
Part 2– Descriptive / discursive passage 
Part 3– Argumentative / discursive passage

General ≠Academic

General: 5 texts (newspaper articles, stories, instructions etc.)

Academic: 3 texts (scientific articles, academic texts)


1) Don’t spend too much reading the passages!

Learn skimming and scanning

Skimming –  looking only for the general or main ideas, and works best with non-fiction material.

Scanning – looking only for a specific fact or piece of information without reading everything.

2) Don’t spend too much time on an answer! Spend no more than 1 minute answering each question.

3)Be familiar with paraphrasing.

4)Read the instructions carefully- !!! (e.g. you may use any letter of a paragraph MORE THAN ONCE!!! )

5)Check the key words.

6)Look for synonyms.

7) Recommended time for completing each passage: 1 passage ~17 min, 2 passage ~ 20 min, 3 passage ~ 23 min (academic!).

8) Mind that questions don’t necessarily appear in the order in which the answers appear in the passage.

Question types

  • multiple choice, 
  • short answer,
  • identifying information, 
  • identifying the writer’s views/claims, 
  • matching information, 
  • matching headings, 
  • matching features, 
  • matching sentence endings, 
  • sentence completion, 
  • summary completion, 
  • note completion, 
  • table completion, 
  • flow-chart completion, 
  • diagram label completion and short-answer questions.

Reading approaches

1) Read the whole passage, then tackle the questions (for fast readers).

2) Start with questions, check the key words/ideas, then scan the passage for this. 

3) Read and summarize each paragraph (the topic sentence, the main idea, the key words), then read the question that matches the paragraph.

Tips for each task type

Academic reading

Academic reading: examples of tasks

Useful links